Charter (800) 381-JETS (5387) FBO(800) 338-KTRM (5876) Maintenance AOG (760) 394-8500

Our Team

Executive Team

Jared Fox
Jared Fox

CAM, Chief Executive Officer

Jared Fox

CAM, Chief Executive Officer

Jared was bitten by the aviation bug at an early age. By 14 years old he was flying planes out of the Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport near his home in Anna Maria Island, Florida. At 18, Jared began working for Delta Airlines and was quickly promoted to Operations Supervisor, the youngest to hold the position for the airline.

In 1997, Jared transitioned into the general aviation world when he began working for an FBO in Sarasota. After completing a degree in International Affairs and Business Management at Florida State University, Jared joined Banyan Air Service at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. During this time, he also obtained a Commercial Certificate and an Instrument Rating.

Next, Jared made the move to the West Coast where he joined American Airports Corporation as Training Coordinator for their Santa Monica, CA based FBO group; Supermarine. After AAC sold their FBO businesses, he transferred to their airport management division and began managing Los Angeles County Airports through contract.

Jared’s successes led him to the aircraft charter industry where he joined Corporate Jets LLC and then TWC Aviation developing multimillion dollar books of business from the ground up.

Mr. Fox continues his commitment to business aviation and today brings 25 years of experience, across nearly every aspect of the industry.

Toby Benenson
Toby Benenson

Chief Operating Officer

Toby Benenson

Chief Operating Officer

As Desert Jet's Chief Operating Officer, Toby oversees the day-to-day operations of the company’s three business divisions and ensures the effectiveness and efficiency between cross-functional teams.

As a key member of the executive leadership team, Toby is instrumental in providing leadership and developing the culture around our core values, ensuring high levels of engagement throughout the company.

Toby’s previous experience over the last ten years includes the position of Director of Mission Control for a large national operator and operational control functions with a national aircraft fractional operation. He is a certificated pilot and aircraft dispatcher.

Toby is also a certified scuba diver and enjoys flying drones, biking and swimming with his two-year old daughter.

Chris Little
Chris Little

Chief Marketing Officer

Chris Little

Chief Marketing Officer

Chris began her marketing career in business aviation services more than 13 years ago, working for an East Coast Part 135 private jet charter and management company and its affiliate FBO.  She established the companies’ marketing department and led successful rebrand strategies and initiatives through multimedia and digital marketing, advertising, PR and event activities. She established greater brand awareness and recognition for her previous company, locally and nationally, increasing sales activities and profitability. Chris also launched several internal communications initiatives which contributed to better workflows, increased efficiencies and promoted a positive company culture.

Chris relocated back to California and worked for an aviation services company which included marketing aircraft for sale and a Part 145 Maintenance and Repair facility. She led a successful brand merge and launched a new website and fresh marketing collateral.

Inspired by Desert Jet's CEO and Founder, Denise Wilson, and the values and culture she instilled in her companies and employees, Chris soon joined Desert Jet and moved to the desert to become a part of a remarkable company focused on growing together as a team.

Prior to aviation, Chris worked for an entrepreneurial consulting firm where she brought in new franchise opportunities for business ownership. She negotiated franchise agreements with C-Suite executives and founders to expand their business models, and then marketed the opportunities to the franchise consultants through training sessions, seminars, webinars, conferences and website.

Dedicated to her role as the Chief Marketing Officer for Desert Jet, Chris will develop and implement a marketing strategy to increase brand awareness, presence and recognition for the company's product lines to increase market share and brand loyalty. She will bring her strong passion for excellence, high work ethics, creativity, analytic skills and enthusiastic determination to enhance the company culture and continued success of the brand. In her spare time, Chris enjoys cooking, socializing and is a foodie. She loves to hike and ride her bike by the beach and is looking forward to doing the same in the desert.

Roman Mendez
Roman Mendez

General Manager, Desert Jet Center

Roman Mendez

General Manager, Desert Jet Center

A Coachella Valley native, Roman first fell in love with business aviation when he was eighteen working for the world’s largest FBO chain. He began his tenure as a line service technician and soon became the operations manager.

As an operations manager Roman was directly responsible for leading his team in safety practices, offering great customer service, training, and professional development. Captivated by the vision and culture Desert Jet founder Denise Wilson established, Roman joined the FBO team as Line Service Manager.

Bringing his 13 years of aviation experience, Roman now leads a team of aviation enthusiast in day-to-day business operations as General Manager. His duties include FBO revenue optimization through business development and hangar leasing.

Apart from work, Roman is passionate about volunteering and giving back to his community. He is currently an ambassador and previous donor for Be The Match, the global leader in bone marrow transplant.

Jonathan Schaedig
Jonathan Schaedig

General Manager, Desert Jet Maintenance

Jonathan Schaedig

General Manager, Desert Jet Maintenance

Coming soon!
Shaun McQuain
Shaun McQuain

VP of Charter Operations/Director of Operations

Shaun McQuain

VP of Charter Operations/Director of Operations

Shaun is the Vice President of Charter Operations and the 14 CFR 119.69 Director of Operations. Under his leadership, he strives to motivate and develop a strong, high-performing operations team. He provides day-to-day leadership for all Desert Jet Charter safety initiatives, flight operations, and operational control while fostering a safety-oriented accountable environment throughout the organization. Shaun stays engaged with all Desert Jet partners, including the Federal Aviation Administration, to ensure positive relationships and to maintain the highest level of safety and regulatory compliance. He leads recruitment efforts, hiring the right people within the charter company to ensure seamless execution to exceed data-driven performance expectations. He strives to make adjustments as needed to improve performance, and operational efficiencies. This allows for continuous improvement, keeping Desert Jet in a position to strategically grow.

Shaun has gained over 6,000 hours of experience as a pilot flying for both the airlines and on-demand charter companies. He has held various leadership roles throughout the aviation industry. In his first full-time role as a flight instructor he was asked to lead the flight scheduling and strategic development initiatives. After, he quickly became a subject matter expert and technical writer for a start-up on-demand charter company that grew to become a prominent light jet operator in the Southwest. After three years with the company, he joined the leadership team for a start-up airline, where he led both the aircraft delivery team and the flight operations team.

Shaun cherishes every moment he gets to spend with his family of seven and is passionate about aviation, operations leadership and the Desert Jet team!

Desert Jet Charter

Jeff Irvine
Jeff Irvine

Chief Pilot

Jeff Irvine

Chief Pilot

Jeff has had his head in the clouds with a love of aviation since he was a child. After some convincing to follow his passion, he jumped headfirst and never looked back. He brings 15 years of aviation and leadership experience to his role as Chief Pilot.

Jeff graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor’s degree in aviation technology- Professional Pilot, and a minor in Business Management. This degree has given him the opportunity to use his skills as a pilot, training captain, check airman, department manager, and now a Chief Pilot for Desert Jet.

Before coming to Desert Jet, Jeff was a flight instructor at TransPac Aviation Academy where he quickly built a reputation as a quality training captain and was eventually asked to spearhead a new program for domestic flight students. This program would grow into a full division for the academy and train hundreds of students even after Jeff’s departure from the company.

Jeff left his position at TransPac to fly as a Captain for Ameriflight where he also served as a training captain. He credits his time with Ameriflight with strengthening his flight skills and turning him into a true captain.

Jeff enters the role of Chief Pilot after working at Desert Jet for almost five years as a senior captain, training captain, and check airman. As Chief Pilot, Jeff believes in safety, efficiency, and teamwork. He takes his role seriously, and genuinely works to build a relationship of trust with each of the pilots.

Jeff speaks German fluently, and enjoys reading, the outdoors, and spending quality time with his family. He is married to a German red-head and together they have two amazing boys. You could say his hands are full, but he wouldn’t have it any other way!

Steve Roy
Steve Roy

Pilot

Steve Roy

Pilot

Steve’s aviation dreams began at an early age, sitting at the kitchen table building World War II model aircraft with his father. He’s now living his dream as a pilot, as he embarks on his second career. Prior to joining Desert Jet, Steve’s strong technology background offered him an opportunity to work with several highflying teams and he has benefited greatly from the mentorship of notable business leaders while at Apple, Author-It, DonJoy, and Promptu.

Steve is a graduate from the University of Southern California and attended Cambridge University, England as a Joan Metcalf Schaefer Extramural Scholar. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance, a minor in Computer Science and is an adjunct Professor of Aviation Science at Orange Coast College.

Steve lives in La Quinta, is married and has two children. Steve enjoys USC Football, Anaheim Ducks hockey, cycling, golf and history. He enjoys spending time with his family and gives back through his service to Boy Scouts of America, Operation Help a Hero, Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center Foundation and Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief.

Laura McQuain
Laura McQuain

Director of Charter

Laura McQuain

Director of Charter

Coming Soon!
Lizeth Rodriguez
Lizeth Rodriguez

Charter Sales Coordinator

Lizeth Rodriguez

Charter Sales Coordinator

Coming Soon!
Adam Stoughton
Adam Stoughton

Director of Training

Adam Stoughton

Director of Training

Adam’s role as Director of Training with Desert Jet stems from a longstanding passion for helping others achieve and develop as professionals.

His entrance to aviation was not until his second year of college when he transitioned from a Physical Education Major to an Aviation Major. From there on out Adam’s pursuit of Aviation has been strong and focused. Though Adam’s career has been focused primarily in an Aviation context, his lifelong passion of helping others has also guided him into education and development.

After graduating college, Adam served as a flight instructor, further developing his career in corporate and charter aviation. Following his passion for personnel development, Adam also earned a master’s degree in Instructional Design and Human Performance.

He has held roles within large established business aviation companies as well as small startup flight organizations. Within those roles, he has onboarded new aircraft types, built and implemented initial and recurrent training courses, onboarded Pilots and Instructors, and even helped implement airline style scenario-based training in business and charter aviation contexts.

Assisting fellow aviation personnel in achieving their highest performance in their chosen career paths is Adam’s lifelong pursuit and Desert Jet is the perfect platform for him to practice his passion.

In Adam’s free time he enjoys spending time with his family, learning new things, traveling, and seeking out new and exciting ways to grow. Pursuits outside of aviation include learning Japanese, exercise, mountain biking, car racing, teaching his kids, SCUBA, and well, most any new skill!

Austin Braver
Austin Braver

Pilot

Austin Braver

Pilot

Coming soon!
Chace Sparks
Chace Sparks

Pilot

Chace Sparks

Pilot

Coming soon!
Caroline Cusick
Caroline Cusick

Charter Sales Coordinator

Caroline Cusick

Charter Sales Coordinator

Coming soon!
Najib Atwi
Najib Atwi

Pilot

Najib Atwi

Pilot

2019 marks Najib's 5th year at Desert Jet. He serves as an Instructor Pilot and Check Airman on our Cessna Citation 500 and 525 fleet.

Najib has more than 11000 flight hours, six type ratings on various aircraft including; three Cessna Citation models, a Kingair 350, a Gulfstream G-200, and an Airbus A-320.

Prior to joining Desert Jet, Najib served as the former Director Of Flight Operations for a private company in Oregon.

Najib's childhood was spent living in exotic places such as Asia, Europe, and Africa, considering each place home before moving to the United States. Besides everything Aviation, some of Najib's hobbies include traveling, classic cars, watching and playing sports such as basketball, soccer, baseball, and tennis.

Mike Horan
Mike Horan

Director of Maintenance

Mike Horan

Director of Maintenance

Coming soon!
Shaun McQuain
Shaun McQuain

VP of Charter Operations/Director of Operations

Shaun McQuain

VP of Charter Operations/Director of Operations

Shaun is the Vice President of Charter Operations and the 14 CFR 119.69 Director of Operations. Under his leadership, he strives to motivate and develop a strong, high-performing operations team. He provides day-to-day leadership for all Desert Jet Charter safety initiatives, flight operations, and operational control while fostering a safety-oriented accountable environment throughout the organization. Shaun stays engaged with all Desert Jet partners, including the Federal Aviation Administration, to ensure positive relationships and to maintain the highest level of safety and regulatory compliance. He leads recruitment efforts, hiring the right people within the charter company to ensure seamless execution to exceed data-driven performance expectations. He strives to make adjustments as needed to improve performance, and operational efficiencies. This allows for continuous improvement, keeping Desert Jet in a position to strategically grow.

Shaun has gained over 6,000 hours of experience as a pilot flying for both the airlines and on-demand charter companies. He has held various leadership roles throughout the aviation industry. In his first full-time role as a flight instructor he was asked to lead the flight scheduling and strategic development initiatives. After, he quickly became a subject matter expert and technical writer for a start-up on-demand charter company that grew to become a prominent light jet operator in the Southwest. After three years with the company, he joined the leadership team for a start-up airline, where he led both the aircraft delivery team and the flight operations team.

Shaun cherishes every moment he gets to spend with his family of seven and is passionate about aviation, operations leadership and the Desert Jet team!

Mark Robens
Mark Robens

Director of Safety, Pilot

Mark Robens

Director of Safety, Pilot

Mark brings considerable experience and knowledge to the team including a CE-525 type rating. Mark will apply his years of professional training to ensure Desert Jet is operating as safely and efficiently as possible. Mark has previously worked in both Part 91 and 135 operations, has acted as a paramedic with the Phoenix Fire Department and has been a practicing attorney in areas including Risk Management.
Kimo Kalawai’a
Kimo Kalawai’a

Pilot

Kimo Kalawai’a

Pilot

Coming soon!
Heidi Ratajesak
Heidi Ratajesak

Charter Sales Coordinator

Heidi Ratajesak

Charter Sales Coordinator

Coming soon!

Desert Jet Maintenance

Luis Ferro
Luis Ferro

Administrative Assistant / Parts

Luis Ferro

Administrative Assistant / Parts

Luis is a desert native having been born in Indio and raised in Thermal, California. After high school, Luis attended the College of the Desert and graduated with an Associate’s of Science Degree in Computer Science. Luis initially joined the Desert Jet team as a Line Service Technician.  His interest in aircraft maintenance led him to join the Desert Jet Maintenance team as a parts clerk with the intention of eventually becoming an aircraft mechanics. Away from work, Luis can be found off-roading, shooting and working on cars. Luis always has a smile, and it spreads to the rest of his team.
Valente Camarillo
Valente Camarillo

Maintenance Technician

Valente Camarillo

Maintenance Technician

Valente Camarillo joins Desert Jet with more than 18 years’ experience in aircraft maintenance. Valente attended Red Stone College in Los Angeles, California, where he earned his A&P license. Previously with SkyWest, he became crew leader and spent four years in a supervisory role.

Valente was born and raised in Indio, California, and enjoys spending time with his family, playing his guitar and Barbequing on his days off.

Richard Camarillo
Richard Camarillo

Maintenance Technician

Richard Camarillo

Maintenance Technician

Coming soon!
Jonathan Schaedig
Jonathan Schaedig

General Manager, Desert Jet Maintenance

Jonathan Schaedig

General Manager, Desert Jet Maintenance

Coming soon!
Jeff Manion
Jeff Manion

Technical Sales Representative

Jeff Manion

Technical Sales Representative

Jeff is a corporate aviation executive in MRO Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service. He demonstrates exemplary leadership skills plus a proven track record of YOY revenue growth, by capturing new market share, maximizing corporate performance, along with improving internal efficiencies.

Desert Jet Center - Executive FBO

Roman Mendez
Roman Mendez

General Manager, Desert Jet Center

Roman Mendez

General Manager, Desert Jet Center

A Coachella Valley native, Roman first fell in love with business aviation when he was eighteen working for the world’s largest FBO chain. He began his tenure as a line service technician and soon became the operations manager.

As an operations manager Roman was directly responsible for leading his team in safety practices, offering great customer service, training, and professional development. Captivated by the vision and culture Desert Jet founder Denise Wilson established, Roman joined the FBO team as Line Service Manager.

Bringing his 13 years of aviation experience, Roman now leads a team of aviation enthusiast in day-to-day business operations as General Manager. His duties include FBO revenue optimization through business development and hangar leasing.

Apart from work, Roman is passionate about volunteering and giving back to his community. He is currently an ambassador and previous donor for Be The Match, the global leader in bone marrow transplant.

Jorge Rodriguez
Jorge Rodriguez

Line Service Manager

Jorge Rodriguez

Line Service Manager

Jorge is a Coachella Valley native with a strong work ethic and a helpful heart. When he’s not spending time with his family, you can find him at any one of the amusement parks around the area. Jorge has a passion for sports, whether it be playing or watching football, baseball and basketball. He gives back to his community and coaches softball at Coachella Valley High School, where his passion for sports shines through.
Mike Geller
Mike Geller

Line Service Technician

Mike Geller

Line Service Technician

Mike joined the Desert Jet Center team as a Line Service Technician after a 20 year stint in his family's business of building and supplying cars and equipment to movie studios in Los Angeles.  Mike moved from LA to the desert to find a better environment in which to raise his kids.  His hobbies include classic cars, martial arts playing the guitar and of course, spending time with his family.  
Richard Rasmussen
Richard Rasmussen

Lead Aircraft Detailer

Richard Rasmussen

Lead Aircraft Detailer

Coming Soon.
Alonso Mendoza
Alonso Mendoza

Line Service Technician

Alonso Mendoza

Line Service Technician

Coming Soon!
Tawni Gomez
Tawni Gomez

Guest Service Coordinator

Tawni Gomez

Guest Service Coordinator

Tawni is a Southern California native and fell in love with aviation early on. Living near Santa Monica Airport (KSMO), she was fascinated by the airplanes, from Piper Cubs to Lear jets passing one hundred feet over the automobile traffic on Bundy Drive for landing.

One summer, she decided she might want to learn to fly. All it took was a thirty minute Cessna Discovery Flight and she had found her passion. She made her first solo flight shortly before joining the United States Air Force where she spent 6 years combined active duty and California Air National Guard as a fighter jet armament systems specialist. During this time she received unit commendations for achieving flight leader of her graduating class, outstanding job performance and early promotion.

Upon completing her active duty tour, she received her private pilot certificate and, soon after, her instrument rating. She joined an aero club with an equity share in 4 aircraft where she accumulated most of her flight hours in a Cessna Skylane.

Tawni attended Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, with a major in Aeronautical Science. However, an opportunity to start her own windshield repair business unexpectedly presented itself and she decided to leave school to pursue the chance to be her own boss. It was during this time that the importance of customer service was deeply ingrained as the cornerstone of her business philosophy, and discovered she really enjoyed meeting and helping people. An independent survey revealed that over 97% of her customers would use her service again.

In her free time, she enjoys fitness walking, cycling, inline skating, virtual flying (simulation) and spending time with friends and family. Tawni plans to own a Stearman PT-17 someday. Her favorite aviation-themed book is “A Gift of Wings” by Richard Bach.

Angel Vargas
Angel Vargas

Line Service Technician

Angel Vargas

Line Service Technician

Born and raised in Mexico City, Angel came to the U.S. in 1971 looking for better employment opportunities.  Angel worked as an industrial mechanic for ten years and an optical technician for five years prior to working in line service at KTRM.  He now joins Desert Jet with more than 12 years of aviation experience as a line technician.

Angel enjoys history, sports, cars and motorcycles.  He is extremely happy to be a Desert Jet team member!

Taylor Garcia
Taylor Garcia

Guest Service Coordinator

Taylor Garcia

Guest Service Coordinator

Taylor is a Coachella Valley native with an outgoing personality and strong customer service background. Taylor joined the Desert Jet team as a Guests Service Coordinator. Although this is her first job in aviation, she had always had an interest in the industry and with aircraft. Her adaptive skills, generous nature and eagerness to learn new things will be beneficial to her role and to the company.

When Taylor is not working, you can find her spending time with her family, playing softball with friends or even attending a local community event. Taylor gives back to her community by teaching adaptive fitness classes to adults and youths with disabilities.

Porfirio De Anda
Porfirio De Anda

Line Service Technician

Porfirio De Anda

Line Service Technician

Coming Soon!
Everett Woodbridge
Everett Woodbridge

Aircraft Detailer

Everett Woodbridge

Aircraft Detailer

Coming Soon!
Santiago Lozoya
Santiago Lozoya

Line Service Technician

Santiago Lozoya

Line Service Technician

Coming soon!
Del Boyer
Del Boyer

Line Service Technician

Del Boyer

Line Service Technician

Coming soon!
Samuel Zendejas
Samuel Zendejas

Line Service Technician

Samuel Zendejas

Line Service Technician

Coming soon!
Jeannie Martin
Jeannie Martin

Guest Service Coordinator

Jeannie Martin

Guest Service Coordinator

Coming soon!
Melina Verdugo
Melina Verdugo

Guest Service Coordinator

Melina Verdugo

Guest Service Coordinator

Coming soon!
Elmer (“Alex”) Andrade
Elmer (“Alex”) Andrade

Aircraft Detailer

Elmer (“Alex”) Andrade

Aircraft Detailer

Coming soon!

Administration

Janet Ygnatowiz
Janet Ygnatowiz

Book Keeper

Janet Ygnatowiz

Book Keeper

Coming soon!

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